What Printer is right for my Industry? | Printer and Photocopier Guide

8. Which Printer or Photocopier is right for my Industry?

Different brands of printers and photocopiers are suited to different industries, it is also important that you consider which printer and photocopier type is most suited to your business.

8.1 Education

As school budgets continue to be squeezed it is becoming increasingly important for educating bodies to be cost efficient. Printers and photocopiers can be deceptive when it comes to cost, for example a machine may seem cheap at first, but hidden costs surrounding toner and colour printing could add up. See section 7.4 on cost models. It is important then for schools to select a printer, that is fit for purpose and will service the needs of the school for the lifetime of the contract (typically 3 to 5 years).

Some products such as the RISO ComColour, are specialist printing products, perfect for the school environment, it can produce a large volume of documents at high-speed. The quality is not as sharp and crisp as the output from a typical office printer but for lesson plans, workbooks and school newsletters it is perfectly good quality. Producing colour copies for around 1p it is also extremely cost-effective. Most schools will require a mixture of different types of device, that can produce varying types of documents, or to service distinct functions within the school. For examples classrooms may require desktop printers to support lessons, a floor-standing photocopier may be best suited to shared locations or a school library / resource centre, whilst a light production or RISO printer may be best suited to reprographics departments and print rooms.

By adding additional software such as PaperCut print management software to a school fleet, the school can then affectively manage the entire solution.

It is also worth noting that schools can only use operating leases when funding their print machines.


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8.2 Business Start Ups

Business start-ups can work efficiently on one or two print machines if printing requirements are basic. It is when business picks up and growth comes at an accelerated rate that more advanced or additional machines may be required.

For more information on this type of business refer to SME’s (below).

8.3 SME’s

Small to medium enterprises typically require their technology to be cost effective, as unexpected drains on budgets can really throw a business from a path of positive progression and growth. Reliability and efficiency are in turn equally as important. SME’s can vary in available office space, and if advanced print functions are not required, then a smaller machine that does not take up a huge amount of space could be an option. If advanced print features such as complex finishing or additional print sizes are required, then a larger office space should be considered for the machine. Wired and wirelessly connected printers offer different benefits to a growing business. Wired connections are a robust and speedy function for a fixed office, and a wireless connection is cheap to deploy, provides accessibility, but is not as fast to use. SME’s will greatly benefit from adopting a Managed Print Service, some could make savings up to as much as 40%, as well as reaping the benefit of fully outsourcing this function.

See our range Small Business Photocopiers

8.4 Large Corporates

Larger corporations usually need a wide variety of different machines with varying capabilities. Bigger businesses tend to work from multi-roomed or multi-storied offices, with each room or office potentially requiring different print needs. For example, one room may need a desktop printer that is solely able to print, and print constantly, whilst another room may need a shared multifunctional printer. Office size also needs to be taken into account as a larger floor standing machine may be required for heavy duty printing in shared areas. However, space does not normally matter for large corporates, instead focussing on costs, security, features and environmental issues. Products such as inkjet printers, that require little to no heat should be considered by large corporates, as environmental issues are often important parts of their company culture. Additionally, printers and photocopiers that are able to use advanced managed print software’s such as Equitrac, may also benefit larger entities, allowing such businesses to monitor the amount and type of printing being done and who is doing it.

8.5 Legal

Law firms do not have the time to wait for machines to be fixed. They also cannot afford to wait for important documents to be printed when court deadlines are looming, it is for this reason that legal firms generally need their office printers and photocopiers to be reliable and innovative. Advanced finishing options such as hole punching, stapling and collating, tend to be high up on the list of requirements for law firms, as they need to produce accurate and organised court bundles of a high quality. Document security is also paramount to legal organisations, as client data must be safe and secure or it could affect their case. So a machine that is capable of using managed print service software such as PaperCut may be useful. These types of software limit access to who can print, and in what quantities, meaning cost savings could also be possible.

8.6 Religious Institutions

Religious organisations normally require, much like large corporations, different print capabilities from church to church. For example, one church or parish building may only wish to be able to print newsletters, in which case a small and cheap machine may be needed. In contrast a different church may wish to print larger or more complex items such as hymn books and leaflets, in which case a larger and more advanced multifunctional machine would be more useful. The typical religious institution would have old-fashioned equipment that they have been using for many years to try and get the most out of the investment. However operationally this equipment tends to be expensive to power and run, so replacing these with new, innovative machines can actually help save money and time. Lastly, as churches tend to be run by volunteers, it can be hard to keep them connected and able to work from anywhere at anytime, so advanced connectivity features allowing them to do so, may also be beneficial and worth considering.

8.7 Political Parties

Political parties have to communicate or ‘canvas’ to a large percentage of the UK population, therefore producing vast amounts of print, in order to cater to the huge quantity of people they need to reach. Political parties typically need the ability to scale printing output up or down dependant on elections and events, so reliable machines that print very fast are important. Political parties do not usually require the ability to print in several colours, usually just one or two colours (black and the colour of their party), so costs can be kept low by not picking advanced and expensive colour machines. Printers and duplicators such as those produced by RISO tend to be popular, as their reliability and fast output allows for deadlines to be met, without the worry of machine breakdowns or paper jamming. The duplicators can also print in one or two colours, giving additional savings. Lastly, it is important for politicians to be able to work from anywhere, so a more advanced machine networked to allow users to print from anywhere could also be of interest.

8.8 Healthcare Industry

The very nature of the healthcare industry, is to provide care services to maintain or prevent sickness and ill health. The more time that can be spent tending to the needs of patients rather than spending time on administration and organising paperwork, the better the service and outcome. Therefore, finding the right printers and photocopiers, that prioritise high speed and high volume printing could be useful for the healthcare industry. This allows staff to step away from spending valuable time on administrative heavy duties and focus more on patient care.

Money is also a major concern for the healthcare sector. In a time where NHS funding continues to decrease and budgets tightened, cheaper machines, such as desktop inkjet printers, that do not focus on quality but on volume and speed instead may be more suitable than expensive machines.

As Healthcare organisations tend to be employing a large number of users across multiple sites, the use of a print management software can be advantageous to keep clinics, laboratories, or offices connected, whilst all the time monitoring how the printers are being used, who is using the machines, and the cost.

The need for doctors to deliver care to patients whenever and wherever they may be, means that connectivity, mobility, and advanced features such as cloud printing may be useful. More expensive machines such as multifunctional printers and photocopiers (MFPs) could be an option, allowing staff to print using Internet and network connections. These types of machines, when paired with managed print software such as PaperCut, can be scalable, either up or down, depending on what is required. For example, if the medical centre is small the machine will be easily accessible to all staff as needed, but if the organisation is a busy hospital, it will ensure that the machines can keep up with demand.

Lastly, and maybe the biggest consideration for the healthcare industry is security. As one of the most security-sensitive industries it is highly important for healthcare organisations to adhere to strong and strict policies surrounding patient privacy and data protection. It is for this reason that machines and software that have security features such as lockable paper trays and that allow for restricted access are vitally important. It is also imperative that machines have their hard drives wiped before moving them on, as this is where the sensitive data is stored, including every print, copy, scan or fax that the machine has performed.

8.9 Multi-site

Although many businesses may prefer to work from one location, as a business grows the need for additional sites and locations may arise. It is therefore necessary for these multi-site institutions to be able to deploy cost effective office machinery solutions that keep the business connected and operating as one entity. Multifunctional printers that can be paired with managed print service software may be the option for multi-site corporations and organisations. These options would allow employees to work from anywhere, and stop the unnecessary duplication of work. One particular software – Follow Me Printing, could be extremely time saving for employees of a multi-site institution. Follow Me Printing is a type of roaming software that detects the nearest printer to you and allows you to print from that machine, as opposed to finding out the nearest printer yourself. Simple software solutions such as these can save vast amounts of time and keep a business working on client or customer care.


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